If you’re looking for more reasons to just Netflix and chill, you came to the right place! Watching Chinese shows on Netflix is not only for entertainment; it can supplement your Chinese language learning.
It is the perfect way to learn for auditory learners, as they learn through conversations and hear how native Chinese speakers communicate with each other. As a linguistic learner, reading through subtitles and supplementing them with dialogue is a great way to increase your vocabulary and familiarize yourself with common speech. No matter your learning style, watching Chinese shows on Netflix is a great way to learn Chinese.
Thanks to the internet, there are many resources for watching Chinese shows and films. In this article, we’ll share our favorite Netflix shows to binge-watch.
If you find yourself scrolling through the seemingly endless list of Chinese shows to watch on Netflix, then look no further. We’ll list some of the must-watch shows for you to learn Chinese.
10 Must-Watch Chinese Shows on Netflix in the US
Dramas that are centered on history have been all the rage right now in Chinese media. Empress in the Palace is praised as one of the best C-drama in mainland China.
This drama transports you back to the lavish royal life and the imperial Chinese harem system. The central premise is set during the Qing period as it chronicles the tale of Zhen Huan, a stunning concubine. The story revolves around her ascent to the status of the emperor’s favorite and most powerful concubine in the dynasty.
This series will keep you on the edge of your seat from all the palace intrigue, plot, and drama within the dynasty. Not to mention, be in awe of the lavish costumes and outstanding performances of China’s top actors. Not only will this show entertain you, but it will also teach you a thing or two about Chinese history and culture.
A great slice-of-life series that centers upon a brother and sister sibling who quarrel as they navigate high school. The drama focuses on their discovery of friendships, struggles, and daily life. This series will hook you with their tender moments and humorous gags!
Set in modern times that revolves around two teens, this show is a great way to learn Chinese. Their conversations are humorous yet easy to follow. You might even learn a few slangs that Gen Z uses nowadays too!
This Netflix series is a remake of a popular Taiwanese drama with the same namesake and a spin-off of the South Korean program Boys Over Flowers. This is undoubtedly one of the must-watch series if you enjoy coming-of-age stories and RomCom. It follows the life of Shancai, a college student who examines her love life and all the turbulence that comes with it.
This C-drama on Netflix, with 49 episodes and a complex storyline, will leave you clicking next to the next episode! It is a great show to watch if you’re looking to uplevel your Mandarin language skills, as there is a wide variety in the dialogue of this series.
Are you a gamer? If so, you’ll love this show! The King’s Avatar is a great drama about friendship and love for the gaming industry. The series’s protagonist is a top gamer who got kicked out of his gaming squad. He must now form his team to regain his position as the undisputed king of Glory.
This drama is a great way to learn Chinese, especially if you’re into Esports or tech. There are a lot of tech and gaming terminologies that might be quite challenging for new Chinese language students. However, this series is a must-watch not only for the beautiful gaming sequence but also for the thrill of the game, camaraderie, and competitiveness of the sport.
Are you a true crime junkie? If so, you might like The Victim’s Game. This story is about a detective with Asperger’s syndrome who takes great risks to solve a case. He discovers that his estranged daughter is connected to several unsolved and mysterious deaths.
This Taiwanese series will keep you on your toes with its mystery, thrill, and drama. The cinematography is phenomenal, and the acting is superb. The Victim’s Game is a good show to brush up on Chinese vocabulary related to crime, law, and mental illness. It will also familiarize you with different Chinese accents, as this was filmed with Taiwanese actors.
A remake of a western series of the same name, Chosen is a thriller C-drama on Netflix. It’s about a doctor forced to participate in a bizarre killing game or risk watching everyone they care about die.
It is a must-watch thriller series but might be quite challenging for beginner Chinese learning students due to its advanced terminologies. However, there’s respite in some English expressions used due to the series being set in Australia. Definitely worth watching if you love true crime and thriller series.
This fantasy C-drama is a fan favorite! It is one of the most watched C-dramas ever. Set in a fantasy world of gods and demons, centered in a 2,000-year-long romance narrative (Wow, talk about forever!) between the Prince of Heavens and a Fox spirit as they fall in love and their tale of Eternal love begins. Find out if they are meant to be star-crossed lovers or find happiness in the next life after overcoming adversaries.
The 58 episodes may seem daunting at first, but once you get over that hurdle, you’ll be left wanting more! This is an amazing drama great storyline and phenomenal acting! You won’t even notice you’re learning Chinese when watching Eternal Love.
The Untamed is one of Netflix’s top Chinese dramas, and for a good reason! This series is about fantasy, warfare, and an intricate storyline. If you’re a fan of Wuxia or the martial arts heroes of Ancient China genre of Chinese fiction, then you’ll love this series. It focuses on the concept of soulmates, as two disciples from warring clans form a relationship. Who uncovers a dark mystery that jeopardizes the stability of their universe. As they take steps to stop the worst from happening, one of them dies and mysteriously returns to life after 15 years.
This show is a rising BL drama (boys love drama) with a great storyline, amazing animation, and acting! This is definitely a good way to learn Chinese if you love fantasy dramas.
Ashes of love is set in the distant past that revolves around the Floral Goddess and the Heavenly Emperor’s son, who are so in love that they are willing to defy destiny despite forces that conspire against them.
If you’re a fan of great love stories, then Ashes of Love is a good C-drama to watch! The story is beautifully written and executed and is a masterpiece. Truly spectacular and would leave you holding your breath! A must-watch if you want to learn Chinese and get hooked on a beautiful drama!
Put Your Head On My Shoulder is one of Netflix’s most-watched C-dramas! It’s a feel-good series that narrates the story of a girl who is an accounting major about to graduate and is left unsure of her future. She then meets a genius physics student who disrupts her routine.
If you’re looking for a show to make you smile, this is a great C-drama to watch! Light-hearted and romantic, this is a great show to watch when you want to learn Chinese while watching something easygoing.
Bonus: Chinese Shows on Youtube
If you’re not a Netflix fan or don’t have a subscription – there are plenty of alternatives. We love watching Chinese shows on Youtube as well. Here are some of our favorites:
One of the most-watched Chinese TV programs, Informal Talks, features Mandarin-language discussions of various subjects. Each episode features a group of young foreigners residing in China and discusses topics important to millennials. You would be astonished by what they think and say due to cultural differences!
The ambiance of the presentation is intended to resemble a gathering of the world’s future leaders. The tone might, however, be serious, emotional, or hilarious. From “should you hide social media updates from your parents” to “what would you do if today was your last day of life,” they talked about various subjects.
Overall, this is an informal, international, multicultural, and entertaining TV show that is perfect for Chinese beginners and those looking for some intellectual stimulation in a friendly and relaxed context.
If you love food documentaries, watch A Bite of China. This docuseries gained high ratings and a large following as they introduce the history and background of different dishes from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Just a warning, though! This show will leave you craving some Chinese food. Now that you’ve been warned, this show offers a background not only on dishes but also on Chinese cuisine’s customs, traditions, and history. It is a good show to watch if you’re a foodie who wants to learn Chinese and know more about Chinese culture through food.
If you’re interested in Chinese cuisine, you can also check some of our articles about delectable Chinese food:
- 10 Chinese Foods To Take You on a Tour Around China.
- Top 10 Chinese Street Food You May Like to Try.
The best tool for learning Chinese through watching Chinese shows on Netflix:
Our favorite tool for learning Chinese while watching Netflix shows is Language Reactor. An effective toolkit for learning languages, it makes it easier for you to find, comprehend, and learn from native materials on Netflix (also available on Youtube!)
How to add Language Reactor to your chrome browser for watching Chinese shows on Netflix.
When watching any movies or TV shows on the Netflix website, the chrome extension offers many extra features like dual language subtitles, a pop-up dictionary, and precise video playback settings to help you with your language learning.
- Install the chrome browser extension.
Install the chrome browser extension and make sure that it is enabled when you’re watching shows on Netflix or Youtube to unlock additional language-learning capabilities.
- Enabling and using Language Reactor
Click the LR logo beside the volume toggle to enable or disable additional functionalities.
Click the Gear icon located beside the LR logo to open settings.
Click on the three lines located on the upper right to view all of the available subtitles.
Toggle the AP button to enable automatic playback at the end of every subtitle.
Clicking on a word in the subtitle opens up a dictionary. You can right click on the word to save it.
- Choosing translations
You can select to display either machine translations or human translations in the settings. Because machine translation is sometimes literal, it might be useful for understanding how sentences are put together in the language you are learning. It occasionally has mistakes in it. The human translation is frequently helpful because it accurately translates idioms and expressions.
- Using keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts can be used to control the player.
For the previous subtitle, enter “A.”
To repeat a subtitle, use “S”.
Next subtitle is “D”.
Use the space bar to pause and resume playback.
You can find more keyboard shortcuts in the settings.
Frequently Asked Questions on Chinese Shows on Netflix
Yes, Netflix offers both traditional and Simplified Chinese subtitles.
Yes, Netflix has a wide range of Chinese movies and shows to watch. Read our blog for a list of our recommendations for Chinese shows to watch on Netflix.
The bottom line
Watching Chinese shows is not only a form of entertainment but also a fun way to learn Chinese. You will have a deeper understanding of contemporary Chinese culture and reinforce knowledge from Chinese textbooks. It can also improve your ability to read and listen to Chinese and encourage you to learn conversational Chinese and slang. You won’t believe how much you learn by watching Chinese shows on Netflix.
There are many resources to look into, and you can discover many Chinese TV episodes and movies on Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services. Most movies have Chinese subtitles, which is an excellent opportunity to learn Hanzi and its pronunciations.
The key is finding a show that you truly enjoy watching and engaging! This makes learning enjoyable and encourages you to keep up the consistency. So what are you waiting for? Bring out the popcorn, prop your feet up, and enjoy these must-watch Chinese shows on Netflix.
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